Israel Adesanya has been on a publicity tour after his loss at UFC 281. To Adesanya’s credit he’s not exactly a sore loser.
He’s been open about his experience of UFC 281 main event – however he did stress that he wished he went out on his shield instead of the ‘early stoppage’.
“My ego would say at least let me go out on my shield. But I don’t think I could’ve gone out ‘cause I was still there. I’ve seen worse stoppages. F—ng bring back Steve Mazzagatti,” Adesanya said during the interview after UFC 281.
“Bring back Steve Mazzagatti, I would’ve been fine. He might’ve won that round, but I’d still be champion.”
He went on to stress that he was fine and that the impression that he was shaky on his feet was because of the damage he had taken to his calf.
For those of us who were watching at home this might seem like excuses but ringside view of the finish does raise some questions.
Crowd angle of the main event finish. pic.twitter.com/KBRkTyRn2b
— calfkicker (@calfkickercom) November 18, 2022
However Alex Pereira feels that Adesanya’s take isn’t quite true. He shared the greeting the two exchanged after the bout was over along with the following caption:
“Adesanya stop making excuses saying that the referee stopped the fight early… you have to thank him for saving your life. The way you were with your head down looking at the ground, I only needed one or two more hits to connect a good knee to your face so we wouldn’t know the outcome.
As I said at that point in the video, you were a great opponent and I respect you for that.
Assume the mistakes along with your team without taking away my merits.
You will have one more chance!
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While Pereira is an admirable striker there are takes out there that question is legitimacy as a champion – in fact one pundit said Pereira is the weakest champion in UFC which is certainly one way to look at it. In reality, the expedited route to become a champion has become a reality in the last couple of years. Besides Pereira, Jiri Prochazka became a champion in just 3 bouts. In terms of overall experience, Pereira is second least experienced champion second to Brock Lesnar.